One staple of the recently revitalized downtown Opelika area is turning four and is adding to their business.
Red Clay Brewery, which has beer available throughout Alabama and Georgia, is now expanding its line of canned beers as they bring their canning in-house, said John Corbin, co-owner and founder of Red Clay.
“We’re going to be releasing some fun beers locally,” Corbin said. “We’ll have some cool stuff that we’re going to release state wide and throughout the region. We’re also going to be releasing some stuff that you can only get here locally.”
Corbin, who began Red Clay with Stephen Harle and Kerry McGinnis, is hoping to expand their can run further over the next few years. In the meantime, Red Clay has expanded its brewery in Opelika with a new back patio.
The large, fenced-in space has room for patrons to spread out a blanket or sit at one of the picnic tables as they sip a beer. The space is dog friendly and will soon feature an outdoor bar, Corbin said.
“We’re planning on doing a bunch of weekly bands out here,” Corbin said. “We’re opening it up to do some music. We’re putting a bar out here and all that stuff. It’s going to be fun.”
Families with children young and old joined Red Clay on Saturday to celebrate the brewery’s four years in Opelika. Many patrons used the outdoor space to enjoy some of Red Clay’s brews while snacking on treats from local food vendors.
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We made a place that we would want to hang out at, a place that we would want to be,” McGinnis said. “Good thing since we spend so much time here. But it’s nice to see that everyone else wants to be here, too.”
The bond between the owners and staff is clear and can be felt throughout the brewery. Anyone that sets foot inside can feel the relaxed atmosphere take them over.
This atmosphere spreads to the business side of things, as well, said Craig Collins, the plant manager and head brewer.
“It’s a family owned business, so there’s a lot of things that we do that other businesses don’t do,” Collins said.
One constant over the years has been customers. The Saturday event was a way to thank them for their continued support and to test some new brews that could be featured again in the tap room or in cans.
Red Clay, which began as a home brewing business several years ago before opening a brewery in Opelika, is continuing to expand. The owners are most thankful for the community, without whom they would not be where they are today, the owners said.
“Without our customers we wouldn’t be here, definitely wouldn’t be here four years,” McGinnis said.
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